London is arguably one of the most exciting cities in the world. Home to world-class tourist attractions, music, theatre, food and shopping, there’s simply no reason to get bored – ever! However, you average tween or teen might disagree. If they are too old, and definitely too cool for Matilda or Big Ben, how about looking for something a little different for them?
In our first part of a series of over 40 ideas, we have made a small selection of different activities you might want to try out next time you are in the big smoke!
1. Shops and markets
Let’s start with something easy. We all know there is great shopping in London, and teens tend to be happy with a trip to Camden Market or Carnaby Street, but don’t forget Spitalfields and the East end – cool, edgy, and super fun. Oxford Street isn’t like it used to be, but still worth a trip.
As for markets, our favourites are:
- Brick Lane
- Portobello Road
- Greenwich Market
- Borough Market
- Spitalfields Market
- Camden Market
- Broadway Market
- Covent Garden Market
2. Visit a gruesome museum
Your teen might roll their eyes when you propose the National Gallery or Tate Britain, but perhaps a gruesome museum with blood and skeletons might hold a tad more appeal! Try out The London Dungeon, for example instead, to learn about everything from torture to Sweeney Todd, or the Clink Prison Museum to see how crimes were punished in the past.
3. Ziplining in London
If you are shopped out, galleried-out and fed up with museums, how about some ziplining? Also certain to appeal to all ages, tryGripped.
Worth the small trip to Houndslow, here you can explore the treetops and enjoy sky-high views on one of two high rope trail courses, bounce and scramble across the net adventure park, free jump from platforms onto huge inflatable bags – unattached to any equipment, whizz down one of two 50-metre-long and 20-metre-high speed and spiral slides, jump off a 24m high tower attached to the Power Fan restraint system, or join a dual zip line trekking course – the longest in London – and speed through 30m tall trees. You can easily spend a day at Gripped if you do five or more activities.
4. Monopoly lifesized
Monopoly Lifesized is a new, participatory gameplay attraction featuring the best of the iconic board game, escape rooms and team challenges.
All the most well-loved elements of classic Monopoly gameplay have been translated into a 4D experience on a full-sized board that teams of players will move around.
You’ll be participating in challenges as you go in order to acquire properties, earning money as you Pass Go, Go To Jail, picking up a Chance Card and maybe getting lucky landing on Free Parking.
There are three individually designed and unique main gameplay boards:
- The Vault
- Junior Board (for kids age 5 to 8 if you’re visiting with little brothers/sisters.)
The game consists of 75 minutes of gameplay on a 15 x 15m board, featuring eight properties, two utility companies, two train stations, jail, free parking, Go, and just visiting.
5. Attend a real lift trial in the Old Bailey
Teenagers 14 years old and over can make a trip to the Old Bailey and listen to a real-life court drama.
It’s one of the more unusual teenage attractions but young people interested in a career in law may find this day trip educational.
6. ‘Streethunt‘ games
When the kids are too old – or have already done – the major London attractions, try StreetHunt Games.
It’s an engaging outdoor, self-guided mystery set in London – think grown-up scavenger hunt meets escape room meets murder mystery, played outside across the city.
It costs £15 per person and takes around two hours with individual team sizes of two to five (if you’re in a larger group you can form multiple teams and pit your wits against each other).
You’ll self-navigate to offbeat locations, solving location-specific cryptic clues as you’re immersed in your own murder mystery investigation.
7. Down the Thames in a jacuzzi
Why see the Thames by boat when you can sail in a floating hot tub?
Whatever the weather, the water inside Skuna’s unique boats is heated to a balmy 38ºC (100ºF): so grab your family, friends and swimwear for a bonkers (yet brilliant) private voyage through Canary Wharf.
You can also try out Skuna’s BBQ boats in summer – with BBQ grills and sun loungers!
8. A different view of the city
For an impressive view over London check out the Sky Garden 525 feet up. As the highest public garden, it boasts panoramic views of the capital and is a great free place to see just how spectacular the city looks from above. Although entry is free you do need to reserve a ticket.
9. Zoom down the Thames in a Thames Rocket
Here you have sightseeing tours with a twist. Board these speedboats and see over 20 iconic landmarks and sights while hurtling down the Thames at high speeds of up to 35 knots. There are quick-witted tour guides and super-skilled skippers on board to add a personal touch to the experience through the capital.
10. Tour of Wembley Stadium
This one for the football mad boys out there: take the opportunity to check out the players’ dressing room and walk the tunnel onto the pitch just like their favourite players on the Wembley Stadium Tour.